It is more than 50 years since population newborn screening began. The newborn screening programmes have provided life changing benefits for children who are identified and treated before the devastating effects of serious conditions such as phenylketonuria (PKU) can cause irreversible damage.
During these 50 years, additional disorders which benefit from early detection and treatment have been added to the list of conditions screened for. Today, even more babies are identified in this way and go on to be treated successfully, reducing serious long-term health consequences and even premature death.
Newborn screening has been a truly revolutionary milestone in public health and there is much to celebrate.